I happen to know this product well since about 25 years ago I bought a couple of similar duffle bags during my very first visit to Cabela's. These original bags have been on countless trips, carrying everything from my trusty folding-stock Remington shotgun rolled up in a set of rain gear to frozen packages of caribou meat. These old bags are still useable but I have now retired them from active service. They are now used to store large sleeping bags that needed covers. Fact is, I would not hesitate to take those old Cabela's duffle bags on a trip if I needed extra baggage.
Bottom-line - the new Alaskan Guide Model duffels are better bags than my old models. They have more and better carrying handles for one thing. Good handles are very important when carrying, dragging, hauling and throwing duffels onto the top of piles of gear. Carrying the bag any distance is facilitated by an oversized, padded shoulder strap. In addition, the topside carrying handles can be used as backpack straps for longer hikes.
The newer bags also have strong handles on the ends that are handy for two guys to lift when heavily loaded. This tells you how heavily these bags can be loaded!
I also like the additional reinforcing at all points that bear any weight. The handles are NOT going to tear loose, simple as that. The new bag also has skid-plates. The tough plastic plates are secured to the bottom, near each end, to minimize scuffing if the bag is dragged any distance. Another great idea is the inside "organizer straps" for securing contents.
"See that heavy pouring rain up ahead - that is where we have to land!" I still remember those words as we set up to land at the floatplane base at Cordova, Alaska. A few minutes later all of my gear was piled on the dock. The pilot disappeared back into the low clouds as he returned for another load from our far-off camp. Needless to say my gear got thoroughly soaked. Later, I was very pleased to learn that the waterproof coating on the duffle bags kept the contents completely dry. Good stuff works.
The Guide Model duffle bags have heavy-duty zippers that are lockable for security. The zippers are covered by an exterior flap to shed water away from entry points. Three leather tie-down straps hold the flap in place. These straps can be used somewhat like compression straps to reduce the bulk of a heavily-loaded bag.
Guide model duffle bags are available in three sizes, ranging from 4600 cubic inches to 9900 cubic inches. In addition, the Guide Model luggage line includes three wheeled models, smaller carry-on sized bags and even a shaving kit. The distinctive green ballistic nylon, heavy leather straps and Dall sheep trademark makes this luggage that any hunter would be proud to own.
Click here to view our Alaskan Guide Model™ Luggage